We attend a house church, the first several minutes of our time together reminds me of ”show and tell” from my elementary school days. I read the following anecdote this past Sunday on John Muir. I prefaced it by saying, “This is where I get some of my ideas
“In the last half of the nineteenth century, John Muir was our most intrepid and worshipful explorer of the western extremities of our North American continent. for decades he tramped up and down through our God created wonders, from the California Sierras to the Alaskan glaciers, observing, reporting, praising, and experiencing- entering into whatever he found with childlike delight and mature reverence.
At one period during this time (the year was 1874) Muir visited a friend who had a cabin snug in a valley of one of the tributaries of the Yuba River in the Sierra Mountains- a place to venture into the wildnerness and then return for a comforting cup of tea.
One December day a storm moved in from the Pacific- a fierce storm that bent the junipers and pines, the madronas and fir trees as if they were so many blades of grass. It was for just such times this cabin had been built: cozy protection from the harsh elements. We easily imagine Muir and his host wrapped in sheepskins, safe and secure in his tightly caulked cabin, a fire blazing against the cruel assault of the elements, Muir meditatively rendering the wildness ento his elegant prose. But our imaginations, not trained to cope with Muir, betray us. For Muir, instead of retreating to the coziness of the cabin, pulled the door tight, and throwing another stick of wood on the fire, strode out of the cabin into the storm, climbed a high ridge, picked a giant Douglas fir as the best perch for experiencing the kaleidoscope of color and sound, scent and motion, scrambled his way to the top, and rode out the storm , lashed by the wind, holding on for dear life, relishing Weather; takingit all in- its rich sensuality, it’s primal energy.
From the intro to The Wisdom Of Each Other by Eugene Peterson/ author of The Message.
The guy wasn’t afraid to jump in and enjoy life! He didn’t give a rip about what other people might think of him. The older I get, the more freedom I have to live like this….I read a book several years ago by Tim Hansel When I Relax I Feel Guilty It planted some thoughts that continue to bear fruit to this day in my life…here are those seeds…my hope is they will do the same in you…
” If I had my life to live over again, I’d try to make more mistakes next time: I would relax, I would limber up, I would be sillier than I have been this trip. I know of very few things I would take seriously. I would take more trips, I would be crazier… I would eat more ice cream and less beans; I would have more actual troubles and fewer imaginary ones. You see I’m one of those people who lives life prophylactically and sensibly hour after hour, day after day. Oh, I’ve had my moments, and if I had to do it over again, I’d have more of them…”
Anonymous monk, in Tim Hansel, When I Relax I Feel Guilty
“Do something unusual. Be an experimenter. Meet new people, try new experiences. Let people think you’re loony. Wear a funny hat or put your shirt on backwards for a day…’ Hug a tree, fly a kite, wear a button, jog in triangles. Go for a long walk in your bare feet. Poke some holes in your rigidity. This is not a time to be timid. Take a chance, it’s worth it.”
Tim Hansel, When I Relax I Feel Guilty
Well, it’s time to call it a day. Thanks for reading! DM